Quartz countertops are a popular choice for many homeowners due to their durability, stylish appearance, and low maintenance. However, some routine care and sealing is required to keep them looking their best. Here is a guide on how often you should seal quartz countertops.
What is Quartz?
Quartz countertops, sometimes referred to as engineered stone, are made from ground natural quartz crystals combined with resins and pigments. The quartz content typically ranges from 90-94%.
Some key advantages of quartz:
- Extremely durable and scratch resistant
- Available in a wide range of colors and patterns
- Non-porous so resists staining
- Easy to clean and maintain
- Does not require annual sealing like natural stone
However, quartz is not completely impervious and proper sealing is recommended by manufacturers.
Why Seal Quartz Countertops?
Sealing is an important maintenance step for quartz countertops. It provides the following benefits:
- Enhances stain resistance – Sealing fills in microscopic pores that can allow liquids to penetrate and cause stains. It adds an extra layer of protection.
- Easier to clean – Sealing makes the surface more impervious to grime and grease buildup. Spills and messes wipe off easily.
- Preserves appearance – A sealant prevents etching, pits, and dull spots from developing over time. It keeps the glossy, like-new shine.
- Avoids damage – Sealing protects against accidental spills of strong chemicals like paint removers or drain cleaners that can burn and discolor the surface.
How Often to Seal Quartz
Quartz manufacturers recommend sealing once a year. However, every 6 months is better for quartz countertops in busy kitchens. Here are general guidelines:
New Quartz Countertops
- Seal once prior to use, immediately after installation.
- Re-seal every 6 months afterward. New quartz is more porous until the sealant can fill in surface holes. Frequent sealing prevents stains during this early period.
Existing Quartz Countertops
- If unknown when last sealed, do it immediately.
- Then re-seal every 12 months at a minimum.
- For heavy use areas, seal more frequently every 6-9 months.
Signs Quartz Needs Resealing
Don’t rely on a calendar. Look for these cues:
- Water beads and sits on surface instead of sheeting off.
- Noticeable stains after spills that are difficult to remove.
- Food residue and oils leaving traces after wiping.
- Colors look faded in spots.
- Surface has light scratches or a dulled appearance.
Any of these indicate the sealant is wearing off and it’s time to reapply.
What Sealant to Use on Quartz
Quartz manufacturers recommend a penetrating non-toxic sealant made for natural stone. Generally steer clear of topical sealants that form a plastic-like coating on top.
Look for water-based silicone sealants designed for quartz and granite. These soak in to fill pores and holes while allowing the natural appearance to shine through.
Popular options include:
- Granite Gold Sealer
- Miracle Sealants 511 Porous Plus
- DuPont StoneTech Professional Impregnator Pro
- Seal n Shine WS Easy Shine
Always check the manufacturer’s care guide for their recommended sealants. Using the wrong chemical can damage the surface and void warranties.
How to Seal Quartz Countertops
Sealing quartz is a relatively simple DIY project. Here are the basic steps:
- Clean counters thoroughly with a pH-neutral cleaner and microfiber cloths. Remove all dirt, food, oils etc. Let dry completely.
- Mask off any adjacent surfaces like walls or backsplashes with painter’s tape to avoid drips.
- Apply sealant liberally according to product instructions. Use a paint pad applicator or lint-free cloths.
- Allow 20-30 minutes of dwell time before wiping away all excess with dry microfiber cloths.
- A second coat may be needed for porous new installs or overdue sealing jobs. Apply one hour after first coat.
- Remove tape after second coat dries. Surface use can resume in 24 hours.
- Ventilate area well during application and drying. Sealants contain VOCs.
Be sure to use the sealant as directed by the manufacturer. Proper application is key to achieving best results.
Maintaining Quartz Countertops Between Sealing
Daily and weekly cleaning is important to prevent buildup of dirt, grime and stains between sealings.
- For daily cleaning, wipe up spills immediately with a damp microfiber cloth. Use a pH-neutral cleaner if needed.
- Clean counters at least once a week with soap and water or a quartz-safe cleaner.
- Rinse well and wipe completely dry to avoid water marks.
- Avoid abrasive cleansers, pads or brushes that could scratch.
- Cut only on designated cutting boards – never directly on the quartz.
- Use trivets or hot pads under hot pots and pans. Quartz can withstand brief exposure but prolonged direct heat can cause cracks.
With proper sealing every 6-12 months and daily/weekly care, quartz countertops will stay looking like new for many years. Be vigilant against spills and stains between sealings to maximize results. Contact a professional if you observe etching or dulled areas that require more intensive restoration. With some diligence, quartz countertops are an excellent investment that remains beautiful.
Frequently Asked Questions
Can I use any sealer on my quartz countertops?
No, you should only use a sealer specifically designed for natural stone and quartz. Sealers made for other surfaces may contain chemicals that can dull or damage quartz. Always consult your manufacturer.
Is sealing quartz countertops really necessary?
Yes, sealing is highly recommended by manufacturers to protect against staining, etching and premature wear. Unsealed quartz is more vulnerable to damage.
Can I seal my quartz countertops myself or do I need a professional?
Quartz sealing is a simple DIY project using materials from any hardware store. No special tools or experience needed! Just follow product directions closely.
How long does a quartz sealer last?
A quality quartz sealant will typically last 6-12 months with proper application. Frequency depends on use – heavy use kitchens should seal every 6 months.
How do I know if my quartz sealer has worn off?
Signs like water pooling, stains setting in pores, and food/grime sticking to the surface indicate sealant is wearing thin. Time for a re-coat!
Sealing is a key part of maintaining the beauty and durability of quartz countertops. For best results, seal new quartz prior to use and then re-apply a quality sealant every 6 to 12 months depending on use. Combine sealing with proper daily and weekly cleaning habits. With the right routine, quartz countertops will stay looking like new for many years to come.